"Fact: In the first 24 days of 2015, police in the US fatally shot more people than police did in England and Wales, combined, over the past 24 years.
Behind the numbers: According to The Counted, the Guardian’s special project to track every police killing this year, there were 59 fatal police shootings in the US for the days between 1 January and 24 January. According to data collected by the UK advocacy group Inquest, there have been 55 fatal police shootings – total – in England and Wales from 1990 to 2014. The US population is roughly six times that of England and Wales. According to the World Bank, the US has a per capita intentional homicide rate five times that of the UK."
Now it does not surprise me that my native people are non-violent. The nastiest thing we do is go from house to house on Saint David's day hurling friendly insults at each other. What is surprising is how many people the cops kill in this country. Along the same lines as the above reference, I came across some additional data about police killings around the world. According to this website:
- Denmark: number of people killed by police between 1996 and 2006: 11 people — number of people killed per one million residents: .187 people.
- The Netherlands: 24 people — .137 people
- Sweden: 13 people — .133 people
- Germany: 81 people — .089 people
- Norway: 3 people — .060 people
- England/Wales: 25 people — .042 people
- Finland: 2 people — .034 people
- US: 10,000 people killed — 35.5 killed for every one million residents
I have a very simple question for you today. Can you tell me why the above facts exist? The Huffington Post predictably weighs in with this answer to my question: "Llana attributes the difference in police shootings to U.S. gun laws, police education, training, and money" The article I extracted this quote from said this was the "fairly obvious" answer to my question. Is it really true that cops in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika kill citizens of this land at astronomically high rates simply because SDA citizens own more guns, the cops aren't schooled long enough and the taxpayers have not coughed up enough money to pay the cops who kill so many of us? That answer certainly does not seem obvious to me. So I will ask the question again, why do SDA cops kill SDA citizens at a far higher rate than any other nation in the world?
One possible answer is that Amerikans are the most evil people in the world. I posted to this blog previously, commenting on the astronomically high rates of incarceration in this sinful land, that Amerikans must be the most evil people in the world because so many of us have been imprisoned by those who rule over us. You can read that post here. But I don't think most of you would agree with me if I actually took the position that Amerikans are more evil than Canadians, Mexicans, Italians or even the Welsh. And I don't really take that position myself. When it comes to being evil I believe all men are equal. So, why are we being killed by gun carrying government employees more than any other geo-political zone in the world?
I don't think there is a single answer to this question but I do believe there are several contributing factors. The first factor, as described at policemag.com, is "Police officers and military veterans are kindred spirits. Both wear their uniforms with pride. Both don their uniforms to be part of a larger team of professionals protecting those who can't protect themselves at great personal risk. And both operate within a rigid command structure. So it's natural that many military veterans seek employment in police ranks when they rejoin the civilian workforce. That's what is happening right now in numbers unseen since the closing days of the Vietnam War. The result is a job market flooded with well-qualified police officer candidates who served in Iraq and Afghanistan." Men who have been trained to kill innocent people on their own property in foreign countries by marginalizing their humanity and describing them as terrorists can make the easy jump to killing citizens of the SDA on their own property by characterizing them as "bad" people, worthy of death.
The continuing militarization of the police forces in this country is also a contributing factor to the outrageous rate of police killings. Jon McBride, in an article in the Wall Street Journal writes, "Police concerns about being outgunned may be a self-fulfilling prophecy and increasingly leads to local and state bureaucrats engaging in what lifetime appointed government workers do best: mission creep. If not expressly prohibited, police managers will continually push the arms race. Their professional literature is predominately based on the acquiring and use of newer weapons and more aggressive techniques to physically overwhelm the public. In many cases, however, this is the opposite of smart policing. Coupled with the paramilitary design of the police bureaucracy itself, the police give in to what is already a serious problem in the ranks: the belief that the increasing use of power against a citizen is always justified no matter the violation. The police don’t understand that in many instances they are the cause of the escalation and bear more responsibility during an adverse outcome The suspects I encountered as a former police officer and federal agent in nearly all cases granted permission for me to search their property when asked, often despite unconcealed contraband. Now, instead of making a simple request of a violator, many in law enforcement seem to take a more difficult and confrontational path, fearing personal risk. In many circumstances they inflame the citizens they are engaging, thereby needlessly putting themselves in real and increased jeopardy"
The failed policies of the "War On Drugs" is also partially responsible for what is taking place today. A total abolition of all drug laws should result in a dramatic decrease in the rate of police killings. The criminalization of drugs has created an extensive, and well armed, black market to deal with the lucrative business of selling illegal drugs. The law enforcement sector has responded in kind, thus creating a situation of real war between the two factions in this over-regulated country.
The fact that the citizens of the SDA live under an oppressive system of often contradictory laws that criminalize hundreds of amoral behaviors is also certainly a contributing factor. The poor fellow wrestled to the ground and killed in New York a year or so ago was murdered by the cops for violating a law about selling cigarettes without the proper tax stamp. Another poor soul in New Mexico was shot down and killed by the Albuquerque police because he was not quick enough when they ordered him to move the location of his residence. He was a bum living on public lands. Now he is dead. The enforcement of the excessive number of laws and regulations has led to a widespread belief that the law is immoral, and the associated disrespect for the law has escalated the emotions involved when cops and citizens interact.
Last, it seems to me, cops have significantly changed their view of citizens. I was speaking to a lady cop once, who was stationed at a government high school as her position of "service" to the community, and she continually referred to me as a "civilian." Even for her the line had been drawn in the sand. She was the enforcer of the law and I was the civilian. They are confrontational from the start. To make matters even worse, the standard operating principle from the cops today is, "If I feel threatened I can use deadly force." They seem to be threatened by just about everything, from barking dogs that are gunned down to mouthy drivers pulled over for a burned out tail light.
I don't think any of this will change. Indeed, I believe it will only get worse. Those people who have not been abused by the cops, especially conservatives, continue to preach the gospel of "law and order." They call for more money and more guns to the cops to keep the "bad guys" in line. I don't see any of this changing until they realize they have become one of the bad guys and their friends start getting gunned down in the streets.